Maple Leaf Investing $100M to Expand Tempeh Production With New Plant-Based Factory in Indiana
Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods announced an investment of $100 million to open a new plant in Indiana to expand its production of tempeh - a plant-based protein made from fermenting cooked soybeans.
Demand for tempeh grew at an impressive CAGR of 38.9 percent last year, with Lightlife being the leader within the segment, growing at 39.7 percent, according to analytics from SPINS.
Maple Leaf’s subsidiary Greenleaf Foods will use the plant to make Lightlife vegan tempeh by cooking raw, organic and non-GMO soybeans, then fermenting them using rhizopus oligosporus, a type of fungus to ease digestibility and adhere the soybeans together. If needed, flavors are then added before pasteurization.
Maple Leaf expects the purchase of the 118,000 square-foot facility in Indianapolis to be completed in April of this year, at which point the company will begin production of its tempeh products on-site in the first half of 2022. Maple Leaf originally planned to build a new vegan plant in Shelbyville, Indiana, in 2019, however the COVID-19 pandemic paused that project. Instead this existing plant will enable the company to “fast track” its tempeh production.